As the pandemic is going to take a while to end, China continues to prepare against Covid 19. Beijing is doubling down on its zero-Covid strategy. A $260 million, 5,000-room quarantine facility for incoming travelers, comprised of rows of three-story buildings, officially named the Guangzhou International Health Station ,is set to open in the southern metropolis of Guangzhou in the coming days and rules are to be respected. Travelers will be transferred on buses directly from the airport, and confined to their rooms for at least two weeks. Three meals a day will be delivered by robots. Each room has a video chat camera and an artificial intelligence-powered thermometer. The complex is designed as a bubble to be isolated from the rest of the city, meaning not only travelers, but also workers will be placed under effective lockdown. Medical staff will work for 28 days at the facility, go through a week of quarantine themselves, and another two weeks of home quarantine before they’re allowed to go outside.
“It’s arguably the most state-of-the-art quarantine center in the world, if you will – very high tech, very sophisticated,” said Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations. Experts say it could be the first of many as the Chinese government intensifies its uncompromising, zero-tolerance strategy toward the coronavirus. For more than 18 months, China has closed its borders to most foreigners. However, the virus has repeatedly breached China’s defenses and the battle is not over. Earlier this month, officials announced that 1 billion people had been fully inoculated with domestically made vaccines, accounting for 71% of China’s 1.4 billion population.